Community Shootaround: NBA Draft Winners, Losers

The concept of “winners” and “losers” in an NBA draft isn’t necessarily a flawed one, but naming those winners and losers within 24 hours of the draft’s completion is probably misguided. Three years ago, for example, how many fans or even draft experts would have called the Raptors a winner of the 2016 NBA draft for nabbing little-known forward Pascal Siakam with the 27th overall pick?

Still, the “winner” and “loser” tags are simple short-hand for assessing which teams’ drafts we like, at first glance, and which ones we don’t. With that in mind, we want to hear your thoughts on which teams you believe have a good night on Thursday and which ones you believe could have done better.

The Cavaliers are among the teams that received plenty of praise for their work on Thursday — they came out of the first round with three promising young rookies, having selected Darius Garland at No. 5, Dylan Windler at No. 26, and Kevin Porter Jr. at No. 30. Garland was long viewed as the probable fourth overall pick, and Porter was considered a candidate for the end of the lottery, so Cleveland got seemingly great value in the first round.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Draft Results]

The Pelicans are among the other teams whose work was lauded, though it’s hard not to get high marks when you come away with Zion Williamson. Besides the No. 1 overall pick, New Orleans also came away with Jaxson Hayes at No. 8, Nickeil Alexander-Walker at No. 17, and Marcos Louzada Silva at No. 35. They also managed to shed Solomon Hill‘s contract in their trade with the Hawks.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Suns‘ moves generated some confusion. They had to give up the No. 32 pick to move T.J. Warren, whose three-year, $35MM contract didn’t look like an albatross. Then they traded down from No. 6 to acquire Dario Saric and used their newly-acquired No. 11 pick to select Cameron Johnson, a player most experts didn’t expect to go in the top 20.

What do you think? Which teams’ drafts did you like most, and which ones were you a little less bullish on? Head to the comment section below to weigh in!

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43 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: NBA Draft Winners, Losers

  1. realistnotsucker

    Suns officially take over the Knicks reign as worst franchise in the NBA

    • H.Henderson

      Nah we still got Dolan and the NY media. Suns are just looking peculiar. Plus the Knicks still have plenty of time to screw this up. HAHA man I love my Knicks

  2. hoosierhysteria

    Pat Riley screwed the Celtics again…grabbing herro right in front of them. Suns are not very bright. Bol bol to Denver has huge upside.

  3. hoosierhysteria

    Langford to Celtics as backup….he is another jaylen brown. Hopefully it means tumor rozier is headed to the dump.

    • mcmillankmm

      Yeah dumping their best returning scorer is going to work well for us

  4. Now suns are 1st, Lakers 2nd
    Waiting for mills/Perry move

    I like also cavs that at #26 don’t take porter and then sell their house to take him at #30

  5. hoosierhysteria

    Pacers drafting a big guy is puzzling. I know nothing about the kid, but we have Myles turner and sabonis….so what’s Up? Trade turner….hopefully. Pritchard has done a good job to date…

    • kawg

      My theory is that they will let Thad go, resign Bogey, and start both Sabonis and Turner. The rotation would be as follows:

      Starters: FA Point Guard, Oladipo, Bogdanovic, Sabonis, Turner

      Reserves: Holliday, Sumner? Other FA?, Warren, Leaf, Goga

      They’ll give the Sabonis / Turner pairing a few months to percolate. If they can’t play together, they will trade Sabonis.

        • kawg

          If you’re reading this Mr. McDermott, please forgive me for forgetting you. While my brain may not think of you, you will stay forever in my heart.

  6. KnicksFanCavsFan

    This draft showed teams put a premium on shooters (Cam Johnson jumped to #11). The guy they took at #26 was Dylan Windler who was speculated to go to either GSW or San Antonio. So I think it was the right move. And as far as “selling the house” for Porter Jr? Dude, 2nd round picks are super easy to acquire. Teams bought plenty of them this very draft. Plus the Cavs have tons of trade assets on the roster in usable players on expiring contracts along with the JR contract. Kobe Altman can easily replace those 4 2nd round picks. But they acquired a guy who some had as a lottery to mid 1st round talent.

  7. aberdeen101

    Biggest loser – Phoenix Suns fans once again. Have no idea what they are trying to do.

    • SoCalBrave

      So true… every time they made a move, I tried to rationalize it to find a reason, just to be completely contradicted by the next move.
      It feels like all the moves were plan Bs, or worst case contingency plans.

  8. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    I was happy with the Memphis draft. First of all, having any picks in the first round was refreshing. Morant was an obvious grab at #2, and they didn’t screw that up, and I like Clarke at #21. TWO first rounders in the same draft, both have decent upside. Yay Grizz!!

    • x%sure

      Good draft, Clarke will push JJJ to the 5, eventually (depending on what Jonas does), improving two positions. Clarke has high value at #21.

  9. Strike Four

    Loser: any fan clamoring for Bol Bol. He’s not his dad, he’s not 8 feet tall.

  10. H.Henderson

    In all honesty, I think every team did what was best for their respective futures. Yet, I am completely dumbfounded by the suns moves. Ok I understand the salary dump but the passed on Garland by trading the 6th pick. I thought they were looking for a talebted PG. I guess they’ll try free agency this summer.

    • SheltonMatthews

      Except Garland was taken at 5, which would’ve made it EXTREMELY difficult for the Suns to take him at 6. Probably even illegal.

    • padam

      Agreed. Suns are lost. Surprised Boston didn’t try to package their picks to move up or select Clark with Morris and Horford potentially moving on.

  11. hiflew

    Assigning “winners” and “losers” on the day after the draft has absolutely nothing to do with how good a player ends up. It’s all about extracting the best value from your picks. Let’s say a guy is universally considered a second round pick and you take him at pick #9, it doesn’t matter how god he ends up. You did not maximize the value of your pick.

    Suns made some puzzling moves, not necessarily bad moves, but moves from which they should have extracted more value. Cam Johnson was not a bad pick, but he was a bad pick AT 11. The Suns probably could have traded down 6-8 picks, pick up another asst or two, and still got him. And it is not like there was a lack of teams willing to trade around.

    I’m also not a fan of what Boston did with their first rounders. I feel the players they got could have been gotten later. Although I did like the Carsen Edwards pick in the 2nd round for them. I thought he should have gone 10 picks earlier.

    For my 3rd worst team, I have to nitpick a bit. I’m going with Washington. I think Hachimura was picked too high. His teammate Brandon Clarke would have been a much better pick for them. Their second round pick of Admiral Schofield was decent value at 42, but also a very similar player to Hachimura. Bol Bol was on the board and they passed. I believe they will regret that.

    I’m not going to pick New Orleans as a top 3 team because they shouldn’t get credit for an obvious #1 pick and I didn’t really love any of the rest of their picks.

    Cleveland was almost the opposite of New Orleans. I loved their later picks, but hated their top pick. Garland is almost identical to Collin Sexton. I get picking the best available, but the difference between the best and second best isn’t that much. If they select Culver instead of Garland and I’d rate them #1, but they didn’t. I can’t call them a winner either.

    So my #3 is Miami. It may have been a little high to pick Tyler Herro, but Boston was believed to have loved him and could have easily took him at 14. I also really love their pick of KZ Okpala at 32. Great value. They also finally stopped Bol Bol’s fall. If they didn’t give him away for nothing, Miami would be higher than 3.

    #2 is Memphis. They are the opposite of New Orleans for me. They took the obvious pick at #2, but where they stood out was their later pick of Brandon Clarke. Great value that should pair well with Jaren Jackson. Just an all around solid start at a rebuild.

    My overall top team is the Atlanta Hawks. They used their 6 picks about as well as they could have. They moved up to get Hunter at 4 when there was no way he would be there at 8.
    They got Reddish at 10 which was good value. They also picked up an intriguing guy in Bruno Fernando at 34. Using the remaining picks to get future picks just adds to Atlanta’s haul.

    Overall a very fun draft.

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      I disagree with you. If i think Cam Johnson is going to be a great player and I don’t have another pick until #24 and I think he may not be there then I’ll take him where I can if I’m that in love with him. Me subscribing to mock drafts outside my organization is silly. Ppl called him the best shooter in the draft. Go get him.

      • lakersfan27

        He also has injuries concerns. He is a great shooter when he’s set but doesn’t shoot nearly as well on the move. The was a really good chance he would have been there at 24 but they could have probably trade back 5 picks and picked up a future asset with him.

      • hiflew

        That’s the equivalent of buying milk at $5.00 a gallon at a gas station instead of going a few more miles and finding the exact same gallon of milk for $1.50. Yes, the milk will probably be a great beverage, but that doesn’t change the fact that you could have gotten the exact same thing for much cheaper.

        Subscribing to mock drafts outside your organization is not silly. That is how you determine the cost of things. Are you going shopping for your important purchase of the year at only a single location? Or are you going to see what others are selling it for and what other buyers are paying for it? Just using information you make up yourself without comparing it to others is what is silly.

        Plus, Phoenix didn’t have pick 24 when they selected Johnson. They traded for that pick after selecting him. I never suggest they just trade 11 for nothing. I just thin they could have traded down to 18 or 19 and still gotten him and picked up another asset along with him.

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      And i disagree with the idea that Garland was a mistake. I love Sexton but Garland is a better pure shooter. i think in this nba both can play together.

      • hiflew

        We will just have to agree to disagree on that one. Of course they can both play together, but that doesn’t mean they should. And it definitely doesn’t mean someone wouldn’t be better in the situation.

    • Gary

      Nice write up. Good analysis of last night.

      I’ve read a bunch of draft analysis this morning but nobody mentions the Warriors did well? Considering their draft position to start, I think they did great.

    • x%sure

      Atlanta started out by getting burned by Griffin. They started out with a bucketful of picks and that’s all they got? Fernando is awkward. The trade up to 4 did not get much of a bigger talent than what was at 8.

  12. yoyo137

    The Blazers had a great draft. Had Nassir Little slip to them at #25, got to take a flyer on Jaylen Hoard as an undrafted two-way player, and Damian Lillard destroyed Marvin Bagley’s rap career with back to back diss tracks. Great draft night for us Blazers fans I’d say.

  13. Going by value for pick:

    1) Portland (#25) – Getting Little this late, in this draft = joke.

    2) Boston (#14) – Langford is one of the few potential AS’s in this draft.

    3) Boston (#20) – #33 (Edwards carries no cap space hit, and will play right away), the Bucks’ 2020 1st, and the shedding of Bayne’s contract.

    4) Clips (#27) – win-win deal with the Nets, and MK is older, but circumstances count, and Clips add a short rotation big under a very late RSC.

    5) Spurs (#29) – KJ was not a top 10 talent, but based on the picks around him, he’s a semi-steal without much downside risk.

    • yoyo137

      I don’t have much to add so I apologize for adding just a small footnote to your post, but the Blazers drafted Little at a position of desperate need as well. They don’t deserve much credit for picking him as it was a no brainer, but the fact that they got Little without them trading up and at the position of most need is great for them.

      • I agree that it didn’t take any great acumen to select Little at #25. I was trying to measure results (whether by acumen or luck) in terms of value at a particular spot. I find that easier than declaring overall winners or losers, as teams are playing different hands.

        • yoyo137

          I completely agree that that’s the best way to grade a draft pick, and I definitely agree with all of your other choices for best picks by value. Nobody knows who had the best draft until all the players develop. Grading picks based on value for the talent and potential is the only way to grade a draft in real time.

  14. x%sure

    Presumably Keldon is the new Rudy Gay… very similar… Keldon can do nothing nothing nothing then bust a high-level move out of nowhere. Pops will address the nothing parts, but I suspect he will always have them.

    Agree on Little (who I think CAN find answers), Edwards and Kabengele. Langford would probably have been there at #20 but that’s being picky. A real challenge to Jalen Brown.

  15. x%sure

    Winners: BOS & MEM for the haul, the choices, the positioning trade. CLE & IND for the choices and the boldness in drafting the best player regardless. LAC for Kabengele then taking another good Seminole for support. MIN for the choices. NOP for the haul and Griffin’s wiles. NYK for the haul. POR for their luck.

    Losers: ATL for wasting assets and taking two SFs in the top 10. BRK for a PF too skinny. GSW for reaching. MIA, OKC, ORL for choices. PHX for overall oddity.

    • x%sure

      By “choices” I probably just mean a differing opinion. A number of teams had 0 or 1 late pick, so no mention.

  16. x%sure

    Retraction: OKC OK. I don’t know that Bazley is a bad pick. Go fellow Buckeye Bazley!

    Best values: Doombouya,15 Bitadze,18
    Clarke,21 Little,25 Porter,30 Edwards,33 Nowell,43 Mann,48 Dort,fa,OKC
    ZacNorvell,fa,LAL TerenceDavis,fa,? NazReid,fa,MIN

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